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Clara McKenna Books In Order

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Publication Order of A Stella and Lyndy Mystery Books

Murder at Morrington Hall (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at Blackwater Bend (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at Keyhaven Castle (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Majestic Hotel (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on Mistletoe Lane (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Clara McKenna is a historical mystery author best known for a Stella and Lyndy mystery, a series about an unlikely couple who blend murder, love, and horseracing in Edwardian England. Clara is a founding member of Sleuths in Time and a member of Sisters in Crime. She graduated from Wells College with a B. A degree in Biology from McGill University with an M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Studies.

Murder at Morrington Hall is the first book in Stella and Lyndy mystery series. It is set in 1905, at the end of the Gilded Age, a phrase that traces its origin to Mark Twain to describe the late 19th century. He often used this phrase to refer to a period glittering on the surface but filthy with corruption on the inside.

Fun-loving, bright, free-spirited, beautiful Stella is delighted when her father informs her of taking her with him on a trip to England to attend a client’s son’s wedding. Stella’s father is a rude, abusive man who never does anything that has no benefit to him. He insists that Stella bring her horse along on the trip so she can ride it while in England. As a famous horse breeder in the United States, Stella’s father also intends to bring other horses as a gift to the groom.
On the other hand, Lyndy knows about the arranged wedding and doesn’t resist it. Even though it is not the marriage he would have chosen, he agreed to do it to save his family and real estate. He is unsure of the expectations and is also not enthusiastic about the wedding. His mother is against this arranged marriage, while his father is responsible for it. On the other hand, Stella does not make a fitting impression on the disapproving, unsmiling English family hell bend on belittling her. Then she soon discovers why she is in England and flatly refuses the idea of an arranged marriage but not that she has a choice.

On the day that Stella arrived at Morrington Hall and found out that she was going to be the bride, she uncovered a body. The dead man was a vicar who was present to officiate the wedding. Who would kill a religious leader? There are no hints, not even the murder weapon. A few days later, a champion racehorse is then stolen. Are the events connected? One of the marriage guests is then violently attacked. Again? Are these three separate crimes? Stella and Lyndy must join forces to help with the investigation.
Said, Murder at Morrington Hall is a well-written and engaging tale. All of the characters have been given a strong foundation for growth. Stella and Lyndy have already shown mental growth and the ability to shape their future. Their smart conversation reveals their intellect and likability.

Stella’s dad and Lyndy’s parents may be typical examples of the annoying American and the restrictive British, but this is where they must begin, with the future deciding if they can resist their biased temperament. The supporting characters, such as Lyndy’s sister Alice, the staff, and the police, have all shown great potential for growth and integration into the ongoing plot. The New Forest region, with its untamed New Forest ponies and scenery, should also be acknowledged. It hints at plenty of mysteries to be revealed, just like every mystery series should.

Murder at Blackwater Bend is the second book in the Stella and Lyndy mystery series and picks up not long after the events in the debut book. We meet Stella navigating her responsibilities as the wife of Lyndy under the watchful eyes of his mother, Atherly. The lady doesn’t like her and does not hide the fact that Lyndy’s former flame, Lady Philippa, would have made a better wife.

On a day of fishing, Stella and Lyndy discover the body of Lord Fairbrother, Lady Philippa’s husband. This makes matters worse. As it turns out, practically everyone dislikes Fairbrother, and since he recently “won” a manipulated Cecil Pony competition with a lesser horse, there’s no shortage of suspects. Despite this, the police focus their attention on Harvey, a local snake hunter who helped Stella treat her ill horse. Stella takes action to clear Harvey’s name out of loyalty.
Clara has woven a mystery that is both complex and multifaceted. There is a lot going on throughout the pages. There are several twists and turns woven into a historical background. The issues of squatter’s rights, fossil archaeology, as well as the Verderer’s Court are intriguing and play significant parts in the narrative. In addition to the investigation, there is a subplot in which Lady Atherly attempts to convince Lyndy to forsake Stella in favor of the recently widowed and newly wealthy Lady Philippa. Stella is herself similarly complicated. She has the capacity to befriend folks outside of the English nobility, like the snake catcher. She has a flair for challenging the staid English aristocracy.

And despite the fact that Stella and Lyndy’s forthcoming marriage began as a strictly financial agreement, it is evident that they care dearly for one another. This colorful group includes Stella’s boisterous father, Lord Atherly’s fossil-hunting crew, a visiting scholar, and a self-important plant hunter. Murder at Blackwater Bend fulfills the promise of the first novel by combining a healthy mix of mystery, history, and romance.

In the third book in the series, tensions escalate when a horse-drawn carriage crushes a mysterious visitor during a day trip to Southampton. Before anybody can comprehend why the deceased had a newspaper article about the planned event at Morrington Hall, disaster strikes again, leading to a murder that completely shakes up Stella’s world and indicts one of Lyndy’s respected family members. Stella and Lyndy, confronted with loss, postponed weddings, and unknown threats, rush to link two separate murders and discover the guilty party hidden among the affluent wedding guests. As the couple reveals embarrassing truths, they realize that discovering the murderer and surviving to tell the tale may be as hard as bridging the class barrier.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Clara McKenna

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